The Choice to Balance

Balance. Who cares and what does it have to do with your job search? Several clients have called, wanting to figure it out. The call for balance used to be the province of women in the workplace.  “I’m expected to do it all”, some whispered. “I expect to do it all”, others proclaimed. And it still falls to many a woman with spouse, child, or children, to be the point person in charge of cleaning Continue reading →

Boomerang Kids, Jacks of All Trades, and the Nuances of Networking

Thanks for the many emails and calls that ask questions and want answers. Here are three that are representative of your more recent concerns. “I’m worried about my son. He’s a fine young man, a college graduate, nice looking, smart, and just a bit reserved. He’s not had any luck getting interviews and he’s getting down on himself. His dad and I encourage him, and have volunteered to make calls for him, but he doesn’t Continue reading →

Use Your Social Network

There’s nothing out there. I’ve searched every site on the internet and there’s zip. Nada. Nothing. That’s it. I’m done. He sat there in a heap. Head down, arms limp, fingers touching the floor, emotionally exhausted. I asked him if he was networking, getting the word out about what he does and how he benefits organizations where he works. Other than slowly shaking his head, he didn’t change positions, physically or mentally. There’s nothing out Continue reading →

What Do I Want to Do When I Grow Up?

Got a few hundred minutes? I hope so, because it’s going to take time to follow today’s advice.  Instead of focusing on job search tactics, like interviewing and networking, let’s hone in on the bigger issues, like What do I want to do when I grow up?           If you are a grownup and are still asking this question, whatever job you’ve been doing hasn’t been very satisfying. Hmmm. Not satisfying. Some folks say if Continue reading →

Smile – A Great Start to Your Interview

Many interviewers will tell you they can spot a winner within twenty seconds of meeting the candidate. Whether that’s a race worth winning is the subject for another day. Today’s topic is about the belief that it’s possible.  With that in mind, how can you make your case in less than half a minute? Smile. Smile from the inside out. Smile nice and easy. “I’m pleased to be here”, your smile says, “and I’m pleased Continue reading →

Email Etiquette – Don’t Rankle Your Reader

Email may not be the best communication alternative, but it’s the one most businesses use. Given that reality, you can probably improve how you say what you want to say. For example, if you end an email with your lead instead of starting with one, you’ve lost your reader. If you start with a strong lead but don’t back it up, you might not be taken seriously. If you make too many points and bury Continue reading →

Forward Focus After a Layoff

At last, I know what I want to be when I grow up. That’s great. How old are you? I’m forty-seven and I’ve spent the last twenty-five years doing what I learned to do and what I was told to do, but that’s not working for me anymore. What caused you to rethink your direction? A lay- off.  I’d been looking for work for the last year. The longer I looked the more I realized Continue reading →

Focus on Common Ground

More people are terminated because of interpersonal insensitivity than job incompetence. Better said, at a time when everyone who has a job wants to keep it, mind your manners. Think before you speak. Words have meaning well beyond what you intend when you say them.  Words live on beyond apology; your belated ‘what I really meant to say”, your attempt to diffuse the sting by telling the one stung, ‘you’re just too sensitive”, doesn’t undo Continue reading →

Back to Basics: Resumes, References and Networking

Many job seekers start the hunt with a positive sense of urgency. You do all the right things, in the right order, and when weeks turn into months and nothing happens, you lose your way along with your energy.  If you’re bumping, slumping, and sputtering, it’s time to get back to basics. Resume: The longer it takes to find a job, the more you’re apt to tinker with your resume. If you’re trying to be Continue reading →

The Case for American Idol

Whoever says that today’s popular television programming isn’t educational, hasn’t been watching reality TV. Job seekers can learn plenty from watching these shows and noting the striking similarity between the would-be star’s chase for fame, fortune, and success and their own job search. Case in point: American Idol. Job seekers and Idol hunters begin the chase competing against legions of applicants, all varying in age, background, appearance, talent, discipline, goal focus, and character strength. Those Continue reading →

So That’s What You Mean By Networking

He wanted to meet so we could discuss his job search. He said it wasn’t going anywhere and he needed help re-starting it. And, he said he just needed to vent. “Joyce, I’m not getting any replies to my resume. I must have sent out 300 copies and I haven’t gotten one nibble in response.  Please review it and tell me what’s missing.” He handed it to me, I glanced at it and told him, Continue reading →

Job Fair – Yes or No?

Have you been wondering whether or not to attend job fairs? Well here are some reasons why I think you should: You’ll have an opportunity to speak with a variety of recruiters from a variety of companies that are looking for a variety of individuals who have the potential to meet their employment needs. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, to give answers, and to tell your story: what you’re looking for and why, Continue reading →

Holiday Lessons

The holidays bring families together. Grown children join siblings and parents, grandparents, cousins, nephews, uncles and aunts to exchange gifts, to warmly toast each other’s health, and to talk about good times. If the period of togetherness lasts long enough, and the shared space small enough, and the thermostat up high enough, the talk can get a little edgier, and memories of earlier and not such good times, begin to emerge. Uncle Jack’s not as Continue reading →

Take Time with References

References. Applicants and interviewers worry about them, don’t know how to choose them, to use them, to check them, and as a result, lose out on opportunity, insight, and information both could benefit from receiving. Job hunters need references, good references, because bad ones or those casually chosen can sink an opportunity like a rock. References should be chosen from the pool of individuals who have directly or indirectly supervised their work, and are willing to Continue reading →

Sometimes What You Need to Know is Hard to Hear

How open are you to receiving feedback about your work and workplace behavior from a perspective different from your own? How aware are you of other outlooks, viewpoints that collide, values that contradict, and standards that differ from those you envision to be right and just? If you want to lead the team or just stay on the team, ask for input and listen to what you hear. Employers and co-workers are paying attention. And Continue reading →

Q&A: More Tips for Getting Hired

I’ve received so many requests for more of the “most common mistakes made by job seekers”, I thought I’d better throw a few more your way.  Here goes: You commit the granddaddy of all job hunting errors when you take yourself out of the running by time wasting, over-thinking, and under-selling. You waste time when you spend all your time planning your search and expend no time implementing it.  (These are the folks who spend Continue reading →

Let’s Settle Those Interview Jitters

If you’ve got the interview jitters and you’d like to calm your nerves, let’s get on top of some of the issues that can get to the best of job seeking applicants. “I understand that negotiating is part of the interview process, but I don’t know why I should bother.  After all, employers know what they’re willing to pay and that’s what they’re going to offer, right?” Employers know what they are willing to pay. Continue reading →

Layoff Survivor: How I See It

I know it’s tough to be laid off, and scary to be without a paycheck. The market’s tight and the competition’s stiff. It’s hard on the person getting the news and the family that has to deal with the aftermath.           I’m a layoff “survivor”. That means I’ve lived through several organizational cut backs, deep and shallow, and I’m still here, working, until they cut me loose. Before you tell me how lucky I am, Continue reading →

Q&A: Interviews, Thank You Notes and Being Smart Enough

Questions from readers: “I’ve just returned from what I’d call a mighty good interview. I’d like to improve my odds for getting an offer by writing a thank you note. Is that an old fashioned idea? If it still makes sense, what should I say? How long should it be? Should I send it by e-mail? Long- hand on nice stationery? Please respond as soon as possible. My future may hinge on what you suggest!” Continue reading →

Immediate and Specific Feedback Is Best

“When I give performance feedback to employees, I want them to listen to what I’m saying. If they argue, get defensive, or give me body language that indicates a bad attitude, I’m not going to waste any more of my time. If they mess up again, I’ll just fire them.”           Is that the gospel according to Donald Trump or is it Simon Cowell? Neither. It’s your garden- variety supervisor, manager, or business owner. “I Continue reading →