Joyce’s Blog

If you’ve been looking hard, and haven’t found a job worth cheering about, it’s time to return to job search basics. But before you dig in, look around and see where you are: Are you sending out dozens of resumes and getting no responses? Are you toying with giving them out at basketball games? Have you tried billboards and carpet-bombing? When is the last time you wrote an original cover letter? Are you still mailing that wornRead More
Are you into lists? How about Ten Gonna Getchas for Managers: You’re always the boss. You’re an “in charge kind of person.”  Everyone comes to you with work site problems because you can fix anything. You wear your tool belt at work, home, and in public gatherings. No matter who has the problem, you have the answer. What can go wrong? Your colleagues pass their work off to you and then get offended when you doRead More
Reinvention, entrepreneurial maturity, communication, and community are words to pay attention to in the coming year. Here’s why: Whether you’re Linsay Lohan, Toyota or Bank of America, you’re reinventing, changing, upgrading yourself and your company to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. No matter how complex or simple the switch, your goal is to drive change instead of being driven by it. If you believe there’s an urgent need, you’ll establish a coalition of groups responsible for makingRead More
“Am I out of sync with today’s workforce? What’s wrong with expecting a day’s work for a day’s pay?” The caller said he had an idea for a blog post, was I interested? “Always”, I said. “What is it?” Here’s what he told me: “My boss asked me not to work so hard. “Lighten up”, he said. Can you believe that? ‘Lighten up!’ He told me I was passed up for promotion because I expected too muchRead More
A recent caller wanted to know how to search for jobs that are closer to somewhere else than to where he lives. I figure that if I’m going to tell him, I ought to share the same information with you. There are barriers to conducting an out of town search and ways to overcome them: Barrier: The prospective employer doesn’t want to interview someone who lives “somewhere else”. They don’t want to incur travel andRead More
Warning to Workaholics on Vacation No beach is warm enough, no pool deep enough, no book long enough to keep you from the next call, the next report, the next conquest. No companion is fun enough, no escapade strange enough, no catacomb deep enough, to keep you from the next deal and the next plane that gets you to where the heat is hot enough, the mountain high enough, the trial tribulation enough, to makeRead More
Frank needs some help and no one here seems to be able to get through to him. I asked Frank’s boss to describe the problem. His response told me more about what it wasn’t than what it was.“Frank’s not rude or withdrawn; he’s not outspoken or overbearing. He never gets angry. The guy is very intelligent. He understands how our business works and does what it takes to get his job done. We could letRead More
Frank strode into the room like he owned it. He was tall, imposing, and downright charming. As soon as we sat down, it was another matter.  He cut to the chase: his direct reports were all wrong and his peers were all stupid. He had managed  to the bottom line, had pushed his people hard. He made money and that was what stakeholders expected of him. He didn’t have a problem, the employees did. AndRead More
She’s too smart, she makes you feel stupid. He’s too quiet; you don’t know what he’s thinking. She won’t shut up; she won’t let you think. He thinks so much; he doesn’t care. She cares so much she doesn’t think. It’s just never good enough, is it? You’re either too much of this or too little of that and you want to just be left alone to do your job. I hear you. I reallyRead More
Let’s cut to the chase:  The best way to find a job that’s a match or has potential for being one is to network. Seventy-five percent of available jobs are found in the ‘hidden market’. Spend seventy-five percent of your time looking for them there. Does that mean employers don’t advertise their openings? They do when they must but most would rather hire people they know personally or prospects referred by people they know. MostRead More
Feedback. Too much or too little? It depends on who you’re asking: “Everybody tells me what to do; from my mother to my manager. You’d think I didn’t have a brain in my head. Why can’t people just keep their opinions to themselves and let me do my job?” “The only time I get any feedback is at my annual review, which I get every eighteen months to two years, if I’m lucky. Even then,Read More
Q: I’m getting interviews. I’m not getting offers. Does this mean that my resume is better than I am? A: It sounds as if your resume is doing a better job speaking for you than you are speaking for yourself. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know how you’re missing the mark. Those answers can come from a combination of soul-searching, self awareness and candid feedback from people who know you best. To jumpRead More
We were taking our weekly Sunday walk when my friend mentioned a column that I had written a few weeks earlier. “The retirement column you wrote was definitely about men. Women retire too. Why aren’t  you writing about us?” I didn’t have an answer and realized that I was uncharacteristically without words, which is probably why I hadn’t written any. So I’ve done some asking, and thinking, and asking some more. Here’s some of  whatRead More
The Jet Blue flight attendant event was the basis for my August 15, 2010 column in the Greenboro News & Record.  I receive a few emails about my suggestion that there were other things to try before emulating the actions of the frustrated Jet Blue flight attendant. An except from my column: Understanding the other person’s perspective and knowing their story enables you to frame the exchange and navigate the intersection differently than you otherwiseRead More
My August 8, 2010 career column in the Greensboro News & Record, entitled, “Excuses Get You Nowhere,” generated a few responses that I wanted to share with blog readers.  First, a few summary bullet points of the column if you don’t have time to click through to the News & Record: Excuses, no matter how valid, justified or prevalent, are your own worst enemy in finding a job. Take your excuses and find a wayRead More
“How can I stop my employees from leaving when I can’t afford to compete with the salaries and benefits the other folks are offering?” That’s the question many employers are asking. The problem is, they’re listening to Conventional Wisdom for the answers. CW suggests that people join companies and stay with them for salary and  benefits; that employees have no loyalty; if they can get better down the street, that’s where they’re going to go.Read More
Networking is key to an effective job search. If you want it to work so you can go to work, use it, don’t abuse it. Here are a few scenarios that describe networking, done badly: I asked my friend if she would help me look for a job. She said, “Sure, what do you need?” And I said, “I just told you, I need you to help me look for a job.” And she said,Read More
By the time we arrived at our old family home we were bone tired. It was good to get off the road and open the door to a safe place of summer reflection. It was the perfect occasion to reminisce… I was entering elementary school and I still didn’t talk. I was born into a family that was extroverted, emotional, musical, and exhausting. There was so much commotion in our house I had no desireRead More
Q:   I’ve been unemployed for the past 18 months and have worked dozens of part time jobs during that time. If I list each job separately, I’ll look like a major job hopper. What do you suggest I do? A:  State the obvious: that you’ve worked temporary positions since (give the date) that enable you to serve a wide range of client organizations in a variety of ways that add value. Q:   I’ve been fired,Read More
Political pundits advise the President to have news conferences early and often. Why? 1. The public wants to know what’s happening and what the President’s doing about it. They want to know his command of the issues; how aware, involved, and decisive he is regarding critical events and breaking news. 2. The more often the President meets the press and the public, the more on top of issues he has to be. Political advisors aside,Read More