Thursday, August 23, 2012

Security in jobs or a company

It seems that many opportunity (job) finders are looking for security in companies. My realization has been that the only security out there is yourself. You are your own security and need to remember that. If you choose to sell your services and knowledge to another they will recompense you for it at your agreed upon price. They no longer can look at lifetime security or employment because the competition is getting tougher every day. When working for another be sure and put in more than 100% because it is for you first. You can move on and know you did your very best and can be proud of that.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A few weeks ago there was an excellent article mentioning the key to success was "gratitude". Think about it, Mom always told us to say thank you or please. It was called manners. When you see, interview or read about successful you will find they are grateful and show gratitude to others. They aren't always needing to be the main focus, or originator or author. They are please to give credit where credit is due. As you traverse through your daily travels you might find many opportunities to do the same.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The art of connecting

Much is said and written about networking. I'm a big believer in networking for life in general. Lately though I am calling it connecting because I see so many people running around a group handing out their cards and calling it "networking" . Connecting is always learning something about the other person and listening well enough to find out if there is something I can offer besides just my services or product.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Phone interviews

Many more folks today are doing preliminary phone interviews. With that in mind you'll definitely want to be sure you have done your homework about the company. Pay attention and listen carefully so you'll be able to  craft useful questions for yourself. When the call comes in be sure you are shaved, groomed and dressed completely, including shoes. Then when on the phone stand and talk. Some people like to have a mirror to watch themselves in so they remember to smile. However you proceed be sure you have that sound of confidence to go along with your knowledge and desire. Allow your passion to become included.
How do you include "passion"? Check out Toastmasters.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Elevator pitch

So much is said about the elevator pitch and that you must have one. In a sense it is nothing more than a greeting, as you do everyday with friends, family and work associates. Keep this in mind as you work to find your pitch.  It is impossible to spew out everything about you in 15-30 seconds. Sometimes by mearly listening you'll be able to craft a quick, succinct greeting to catch the other person's attention from whence you can arrange your next meeting. It doesn't always happen but do be cognizant.
Remember that the purpose of your pitch is to gain another chance to sit and get together to talk more where you'll want to learn more about the other person.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another month completed

Can you believe half the year has passed by a month? Me neither. I can already see many items, on my to-do list, that haven't been done. Unfortunately some will now have to wait until next year. Some are late but still need to be done. Should I whine and cry over the spilt milk of uncompleted items or move forward?

You tell me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012

What does that day mean for you? Can you recollect any special incident or celebration? For most of you it is just another day. For others it may be a birthday, anniversary, a family birthday and so on.

That date represents another day in your life, a day when you may just accomplish something worthwhile if you are out doing something about it. No need to wait for the following day, keep your search up and running full force. Remember you will be getting more "no's" that yes's.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life is like a box of See's mixed candies

OK, you saw the movie and laughed and enjoyed. As you purposefully select each different piece of candy and savor the taste so should you go about your trek on meeting new people and events. Some candies aren't your favorite and you probably won't get a full box of them. You might even pass those pieces to others in the future.

Your searches and meetings will sometimes have a similar value to you. It is pretty hard to always select the best connections until you try them all.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The fireworks are over

The Fourth is now long past. Besides enjoying summer what are you doing to further your project of re-injecting yourself into the workforce? Are you seeking out new connections? Meeting new and different people? Are you finding new networking opportunities? If not what are you waiting for?

Remember that you can mail out all the resumes you want and sit at home and wait for the phone to ring. Why did you get that answering service whether it is at the phone company or your own? It was to catch those calls you can't get when away.

Your best use of time is getting out and seeing people, any people.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Where do you start?

Sometimes this place in life, out of work, seems insurmountable. Where do we start? Who to speak with, where to go. How do we get our life back in order? Seems insurmountable doesn't it?
Stop! Get together with a friend and just vent and talk. Get out some of that anger then begin the process of learning. Things are different than last year, five years ago and so on. Get other's input yet don't act on all of it. You'll need to discern if it is for you, not an easy task. Just take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Memorial Day

Many of us know not much about this day in history. Remember that many men and women died so you can enjoy the freedom you have today. They never got to enjoy it later in life as you can. It is your job to make the most of everything because you can. Help out, give back, learn more about the poppy fields of Flanders. We used to buy red poppies in the day but we rarely see that now.
Give homage to those that have gone before you and gave you the freedom you have. Find solutions not look for problems. AS Smokey Bear used to say "Only you can prevent forest fires" . Only you can make the world a better place to live.

Friday, June 29, 2012


It is hard to believe that Summer is just around the corner. That time of year we like to take vacations with the family. Maybe go camping, travel to far away places or even just have a "staycation". Summer is when we put more time into our yards and BBQ and visit with friends and neighbors.This is a good chance to monitor your time and make sure you are still getting out and meeting new people. If you have a BBQ you can invite a few friends and have them invite someone new.
If you go camping you can meet your new camp neighbors. Learn about them, share stories. This is all social networking. Make it fun, help others out. Pay attention to what others have to offer.
Have fun folks.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Do you ever get that feeling of overload? You know, when you have loaded your calendar with more than you can do or at least think you can't? It can happen and there are many reasons why.
This is a good reason why you need time off sometimes. One needs to cleanse the mind and get organized. Make a list of what has to be done then chronicle it. One item at a time. Check off the completed task and move to the next one. Sometimes the act of crossing off tasks will give you that feeling of completion. Once you realize that you can do it continue to move forward.
Never take your eyes off your ultimate goal though. That place you are working to get too soon. Only time will repair this yet you can do it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Change is such a big part of life. Most folks claim they embrace change yet when it comes down to making that change we become reluctant to do so.  There are numerous books written on this topic. The fact is we are not always as in favor of change as we say we are.

How do we change that? Sort of like turning an aircraft carrier, it does take a little time. It never happens as fast as we want, yet it still takes place. Think back on other events you wanted to happen, such as Christmas morning when you were six years old. It seemed it would never come yet low and behold it did and now you have many Christmas mornings that have come and gone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Are you listening?

Sometimes it feels that many folks don't really know how to listen. I don't mean hear, but more emphatically hear. The art of listening is a skill that can be learned by us all. Most of us were never taught how to listen. As youngsters many of us were told to listen, OR ELSE. We knew what that meant.

Listening means totally listening and not preparing our next set of remarks, retorts or questions. It is truly listening to that other person, then gathering out thoughts and either giving back our best knowledge and many times just asking the next revealing question. Many times a good question can supplant our injection.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Summer is around the corner

Sometimes it seems it will never arrive for us in the Pacific Northwest. Yet sure as the sun rises every day Summer will arrive. You don't have to do a thing either.

Like Summer arriving so will your opportunities. A big difference though is you have to be doing work and making preparations so they will arrive to you. It isn't an automatic occurrence. Like most good projects there is some coordination, planning and execution that is important. Seek advice from your family and friends. You'll find very good feedback from others you meet along the way.

Never forget to be helping others as you move forward, it isn't about what is in it for you but more so how can you help others. You have plenty to offer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Local networking events

Do you attend local networking events? Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Optimists, Toastmasters, job fairs, Business trade shows, after hours mixers, lead groups, local philanthropic organizations and many more? If not you should, even when you get back to work. The game is to meet new people and have fun. Doing this will help you to keep yourself in the loop. Mixing with others is stimulating for your brain.

Many folks have reported back over the years suggesting they have learned they will NEVER not network again.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Listening ----again

Listening to observant hiring managers it becomes clear that some folks have an agenda they want to espouse to the potential employer. In turn the interviewer feels the question asked wasn't really addressed. Active listening requires us to clear the mind and not try to have a ready answer when the person asking stops talking. We need to listen intently, make notes if needed then compose our answer.
This is where Toastmasters can help you grow your listening skills. At least find a club and visit it, better yet visit several so you a feel for the flavor of the clubs local to you.

Monday, April 16, 2012


OK, tax time has passed so you can't blame any inactivity on that now. It is time to gather your marbles and get busy. Actively pursuing connections to speak with. Researching potential companies so you  know what they do. Updating your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Finding new spots to connect with others.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Job fairs

Do you attend job fairs? What about business shows. Or, how about Chamber of Commerce shows? If not, why not? These are places with a lot of people. A place where you can meet others and even offer assistance to them sometimes. When you are out looking for yourself you also want to be open to helping others.
When you attend a job fair be sure and remember my mantra : To- Have fun, Meet people, Learn something. When you handle it in this manner it makes it easier to enjoy the experience and even learn something along the way.
Make at lease three passes at a job fair to be sure you have visited as many displays as you can. Engage in conversations with all you can including those walking the aisles with you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Bunny

Did the Easter Bunny remember you this year? Maybe you for him too. There is always a reason to be "sweet" with others, don't miss your opportunity.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Where is the job market going?

Does it really matter? When we read the papers and listen to the news it becomes daunting and depressing when we are in the unemployed. It can seem useless to even try. Yet at the same time others are becoming re-employed. How does this happen?
In a nutshell they have made enough transformations in themselves that they become desired by an employer. So you ask what changes did they make? The fact is that you are all individuals and almost no one is the same as another. Kind of like all snowflakes are individual unto themselves.
The answer: Continue to look, connect, interview, educate yourself more and before you know you to will be receiving offers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do you have a second occupation

Talking with others that are successful in procuring their next position it has come to my attention that many have secondary occupations they enjoy. It may not be their end all spot but it can help them through a downturn. Pay attention to those avocations that you enjoy and could put together in a pinch.

Met a young fellow that loves bicycles so he took a class on bicycle repair and currently volunteers repairing bikes. Just a thought!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why should I hire you?

This is a big question. As you make your presentations remember that the interviewer is thinking that statement. There is more to the process than just your knowledge. You need to be able to communicate and the biggest part is fit with the team. You can have every skill, education that is needed yet if you don't fit the group it isn't going to work very long. Sometimes it may be that you could improve some skills then again on the other hand you will realize that you are just not comfortable. It is a hard decision to turn down a spot that your skills fit but if YOU don't fit you are better off to thank them and move on.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Resume follow-up

Since resumes are still used and asked for why not have the best one you can have. You should accumulate all the information and data about you. You can now gather this all on one file then copy and paste what you want to deliver. You should go to your state employment department and take any classes they offer on resumes and interviewing skills. If you have a few dollars it is advisable to find a professional resume write look at your masterpiece and help you along. You will learn about you and a different way to present your skills.
Remember there are two basic resumes: Chronological and Functional

With computers the beauty is your can tailor make resumes for those asking for it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Speaking of Resumes

It has been hinted that resumes are obsolete. That is fine with me since resumes are used more as a rejection tool than a hiring tool. Think about it. You are looking to hire a body, you receive 300 resumes. Are you going to study each one or are you likely to find a reason not to read some and narrow it down to ten?
Without the resume how will we apply for opportunities? So many ways. Personal meetings are by far the best. You won't always be able to do that though.
What you are going to find out is that it is most important to be able to speak with others and tell stories.Cover letters can do wonders as long as they are short.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Connecting cards

We heard of: Business cards, contact cards and courtesy cards. How about we calling them "connecting cards"? When we think of what true networking is we know that it works best when we take enough time to learn about the other person first. In so doing we do in fact "connect" by making a personal connection. Or, personal relationship building.
It is far simpler to carry a pocket full of cards than resumes. All that is really needed is: name, e-mail and phone number. You can add color or pictures at extra cost. People do remember a good looking card though.

Monday, February 27, 2012

What will March bring us?

It can bring you whatever you want. Do you really know what you want? Life presents us with so many opportunities and we never see nor hear them. Sometimes we need to slow down and "smell the roses" as the old cliche goes. We miss these opportunities because we aren't listening or pushing ourselves to only look for the ones we are cognizant of. There are so many others that could of value if we'd just investigate.
It is good to listen to our heart.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Help others first

Remember that networking is not about you but it is about the other person. The more you practice this idea you will find that the ROI, return on investment, will pay you back handsomely. Recognizing that you are looking to be re-employed you still want to listen carefully to others first. When you listen to them you never know what you might learn or who you might be able to meet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Connecting vs. networking

Sometimes I feel some folks have a misunderstanding about networking. Some feel it entails running around a room dispensing their business cards and collecting cards from others then complaining that it was a lousy networking event. Had they actually be "connecting" and building personal relationships they may have felt the outcome was different. In my opinion it is more useful, in life, to get to know others better than to search for the perfect partners.
Some will try to cut through the chafe and only connect with who is the best prospect only to find out later they may not have been. Sometimes trying to be efficient can lead to fewer connections.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines day

Here we are again at another Valentines day. Are you prepared? Are your cards sent out? Have you bought any presents you had planned on getting?
Are you still laying out your appointments for next week? You should, never stop seeing people. Get out of the house and meet someone new. Meeting past friends is always good to and be sure to discuss positive accomplishments.You never know what you may learn or the other person may learn from such conversations.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Having fun

Are you having fun as you travel on this journey? If not my question to you is "Why not?"
Part of your job to yourself is to make this fun and enjoyable. If you boil it down you may find that one reason it isn't fun is because your may get rejected and that isn't fun. How can you change this? Remember that you normally will be rejected far more times than you will be accepted. You don't want to compromise yourself and be offered a position you actually don't want. Remember that working where you are unhappy is still worse off than being unemployed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What is this "thing" called networking? It is a task we have done forever. It began back in the sandbox when we introduced our old friend to a new friend. We continued through school introducing friends to friends continuing after college. We did it at church, sports venues, extracurricular activities and so on.
Then when we become unemployed we read about and hear about the need to get out there and network. Many folks cringe at the thought. They will compare it to "cold calling" sometimes.
My suggestion is to treat networking with a fun attitude. It is fun to meet new people and learn about them. Where they are from, what they like to do, where they like traveling to. The art of getting know others.
You will find it can be fun when you be sure to make it fun.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Address Book

Most of us have some sort of address book from a young age. We used to use it to write letters, send cards and send Christmas cards. For this part of your journey and electronic version can certainly be handier, with the ability to sort or look up people. By putting in a few helpful hints where you met, conversed about, date you met, what their hobbies might have been or many other fields it makes it even easier to do a search.
This is where the new Social Media phenomena is working so well such as LinkedIn and Facebook. You don't always have to carry all the address with you if you can reach those social media tools.

Monday, January 23, 2012


To me a calendar is a very basic tool to have with you. As much as we think we'll remember everything we have to do, rarely do we fulfill them all. When you are trying to make appointments for interviews, of any kind, you want to be sure not to over book or double book. When you meet someone and have agreed to meet later you should either confirm it then or if you do the "I'll call you later" then you should mark your calendar to make that call. So many folks don't follow up then wonder why they aren't making the headway they want to make.
Once again, your calendar can be a pocket, hand written type or electronic, that is up to you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pen or Pencil

A pen or pencil is an appropriate writing instrument. Seems kind of trivial yet it never ceases to amaze me how many folks arrive unprepared. They are needed to make notes on other's business cards, making a note for the future. Could even be to draw a picture or directions for someone else.
You never know when someone will be impressed by a nice pen also.

Friday, January 13, 2012


A tablet today can be either made of paper or an electronic tablet. Either way you should always have one for making notes to yourself so you can follow-up later. Even today I find myself thinking I'll remember something only to find I have forgotten it. Be as elaborate or simple as you want, just be sure you have something to make notes on. Preferably bound somehow so pages can't just be torn off and lost.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Business cards

Business cards are an essential tool to always have. It is neat and orderly. You only need to have your name, e-mail and phone number on them. If you can afford color, maybe a branding logo or even a favorite quote then go ahead and personalize it.
Most people need not put a title on the card as most of you can handle several roles. There is nothing wrong in having a few cards if you want. You can make your own, just remember that ink jet printers tend to run in the rain. I've learned over many years that people do remember a good business card.
You'll want to order a minimum of 500 the first time and don't be stingy with them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Years-2012

Here we are again in a new year. For you this might be your first New Years out looking for your next opportunity or maybe you've been here before. Either way you have a lot to do. Getting to that next place on this journey usually takes a little work on your part. The more work you do the faster it will go. Yet if you cram too much into it you may make more errors than you need to make.
A little pre-planning on your part  will assist you in the long run. While watching "This Old House", on TV, the other day it was so obvious afterwards how just a little work ahead of time reduced a lot of extra work later.
A few helpers that may help: Business cards, tablet, writing tool, calendar for starters. An address book, of some sort, will be helpful for follow-ups. Some of these can be electronic or the standard old basic manual ones, up to you