Joyce’s Blog

Heads up, friends and neighbors. Companies are reorganizing and if you’re working for them you know what that means: the earth is going to move under your feet. If you want to keep your balance even as those around you might be losing theirs, think about what you want to do, what you say and who you to say it to. Let’s begin with the “Don’ts”: Don’t engage in a whisper campaign against management. InRead More
Whether you’re looking for a job or just thinking about it, you have work to do before you head out to your first interview. Here’s a quick list of gotta-do’s before you get going: Self-assessment:  This is your starting point. You need to clarify what you do well and enjoy doing before you start interviewing. Validate your perspective with those who know and can assess your performance. If they give you a thumbs-up, ask themRead More
What’s a tough interview question? One you don’t know how to answer. I don’t want to be asked why there are so many gaps in my resume. I don’t want to be asked why I went to a top school, got great grades, and then spent the next three years in dead-end jobs. I don’t want to be asked about my ‘five year plan’ because I don’t have a one year plan. I don’t wantRead More
Whether you’re looking for a job or want to hold on to the one you have, keep your attitude in check. It’s not a question of if, it’s when you have a negative attitude it will spill over into negative behavior. That’s a mess you don’t want to have to clean up. Think positively and your behavior will follow suit. If you’re creeped out where you work because half the population is whispering and theRead More
“Everyone wants to shoot the messenger!” says Mary, who’s the messenger for a boss who would rather “not get involved.” Here’s her story. It might have familiar ring: Mary is a seasoned executive assistant. She’s able to see what needs doing and gets it done. She thinks on her feet, consistently makes good choices, and good decisions. She’s hard working and dedicated to her job; organized, good with details and sees how they connect toRead More
Parents, from your calls and emails it sounds like finding summer employment for your teenagers is top of mind these days. Just be careful. If you get too involved, their search will become your search, and even worse, they could stop searching before they even get started. “I provide our family gracious living; a fine home, cars, vacations, club memberships, you name it. I’ve been in a family business for a long while so I’mRead More
If you’re a frequent reader, you know that I typically offer advice to job seekers, providing strategies for getting and keeping jobs. I often suggest they contact you, as possible references, networking contacts, and prospective employers, and in turn, ask that when you offer your wisdom and perspective you’re doing it to help them stay on the road and out of the ruts they inevitably encounter. It occurred to me that you might want aRead More
Interview questions that are difficult typically ask about “why and how” not “what and when.”  They focus on demanding workplace issues, events, personalities, and the actions you’ve taken or didn’t take regarding them. When you do a good job responding to these questions you show self awareness and an ability to organize and articulate your thoughts in ways that are logical and understandable. You describe cause and effect and connect facts that may appear unrelatedRead More
According to the political writers, pundits, pollsters, and candidates, this is a time for change. Some describe change in ways that engage our hearts and imaginations. Some describe change in terms that are pragmatic and time bound. When you call and email questions about jobs and your career, you want to talk about change. Some of your concerns focus on the future, some are about practical necessities, and some are fundamental to your systems ofRead More
It’s frustrating to send your resume to dozens, even hundreds of job openings and not get a response. It’s frustrating to interview and not get a call back that tells you where you stand. It’s humbling to feel as though you’re being judged and maddening to feel that you have no way to control the outcome. What can you do to shift your emotional responses to tactical actions? Eliminate one frustration at a time. ForRead More
Q: My anxiety is through the roof. Yesterday I talked back to my boss, something I never do. I apologized and he said we’re OK but I’m not so sure. He seems to be avoiding me and now I’m more concerned than ever. Should I start looking for another job? A: Exhale. If looking for another job helps you feel more in control, sure, do it. In the time it takes you to find somethingRead More
If you’re like many hard drivers, you can be more than a little defensive when criticized for something you’ve said or done. “What do you mean, I’m defensive? I’m just explaining what happened and why I did what I did!” “That’s what I mean, you’re acting defensive. Just admit that you were rude this morning. I was in the middle of an important presentation and you cut me off.” “Rude? How was I rude? YouRead More
Bright, talented and articulate, he’s ready to do anything and seems poised to do it all. Yet he’s stuck. He’s the pin of a pin wheel, seeing multiple possibilities spinning by and instead of grabbing hold, is overwhelmed by them all. He’s concerned that: He’s a jack of all trades and master of none. His eclectic interests attract him to a variety of opportunities. He can’t focus on one job and dedicate himself to it.Read More
Successful job applicants know how to ask good questions. Good questions let interviewers know that you’re curious; you’ve done your homework; you’re listening to what they’re telling you; and you want to find as good a match as they do. Good questions focus on the future and explore ways that applicants can contribute to the company’s goals and objectives. Good questions keep the discussion energized and positive. Bad questions sound critical, cynical, confrontational, and close-ended.Read More
Q:  I recently lost my job and have not been able to find another. I left my last job on not good terms with my former employer and I think they’re giving me a bad reference. I’ve had a couple of interviews with different companies and was told each time that I’d be getting a second interview. When I wouldn’t hear back I’d call and they’d tell me the position had been filled. Is thereRead More
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 beRead More
The answer lies somewhere in the pause. How many situations have you made worse because you stepped in where you weren’t needed, said more when less was enough, and offered opinions when none were requested? How many times do you wish you’d said more, because less wasn’t enough? When you wish you’d offered a kind word or a statement of support? There is nothing heroic about speaking first if speaking last is the wiser choice.Read More
It’s surprising, frustrating, and disappointing when our strengths, (“I’m so organized;” “I’m very decisive”), turn out to be our weaknesses (“He’s so compulsive!” “She’s so dictatorial!”).  Do any of the following apply to you? Career lesson #1:  No one likes the smartest kid in the room if the smartest kid makes other kids look dumb. When you’re launching your career it’s important to establish yourself as someone who is quick, bright, and eager to getRead More
Career and Executive Coach, Joyce Richman visited B’nai Shalom Day School on February 23, 2010 to share information about the Myers Briggs personal style inventory.Read More
Pete’s miserable. Miserable. Said that he can’t remember feeling worse. He’s stuck with a nowhere job at a nowhere company doing work he was doing five years ago and he was bored with it then. How did he get into this mess and how does he get out? He had a great career (his words, not mine) with a large, hierarchical, autocratic company (my words, not his). He lasted for 10 years. Lasted, because heRead More