Joyce’s Blog

Q: “I’ve recently been released from prison and want to get back into my profession. I’ve been trying to re hone my skills but given my felony record am I just spinning my wheels? What do I say when I’m asked about the lapse in my employment? A. You’re not spinning your wheels, you will find employment, and you will have some real challenges ahead. Let’s start with the first hurdles to overcome, and goRead More
He said that he was impatient, hard driving, focused, bottom-line. That he had trouble with people who wanted to think aloud, taking everyone’s time, noodling about what ought to have been immediately clear to everyone present. That his idea was good, it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. So, he did what any clear thinking person would have done, he blew up. Well, not totally. But he didRead More
Tom (Dick, or Harry) has a problem. He’s in way over his head. Competent, well educated, articulate, he’s scared of the slippery slope that lies ahead. He could veer off the path, but he’s chosen to stay the course. And he’s relieved it will soon be over. They’re going to fire him, he just knows it. Realistic fear? Realistic, no, not remotely. Fear, yes, absolutely. I’ll leave the psychological evaluations to those who specialize inRead More
Do any of these job hunting concerns live inside the head of a person near you? I’m interested in so many things, I can’t settle on just one. If I’m so smart, how come no one is offering me a job? I’d do real well on an interview, I just don’t know how to get one. I’d get hired if I knew what I wanted to do. If I knew what I wanted to doRead More
A reader asks this question: “I have an ordeal I’m dealing with and need your advice. I’ve been at my current position for one year and greatly enjoy the people I work with except for my boss. We don’t click at all. It seems like I can never do one thing to please her. I’m in my 20’s and she’s twice my age. I have an undergraduate degree and she has an advanced degree. IRead More
It was hard to find much to cheer about in 2009. People and institutions seemed to let us down on a regular basis. Rather than place blame, let’s figure out what we can do to make 2010 a better year than the one we just left. Get better. Get better at making promises, keeping promises and delivering more than you promise. Get real. Find facts and face them. Face facts and deal with them. DealRead More
This gal is tough. She’s smart, quick, aggressive, and focused. You better know what you’re doing or she’ll nail you, whether you’re in a meeting with clients or sitting down with your boss and the CEO. She’s arrogant. She swaggers when she talks, and she’s dismissive of any opinion that doesn’t agree with hers. She keeps her job because she delivers. She keeps her promises and she makes money. Her peers, subordinates, even her bossesRead More
Looking for a job can feel mighty good or feel mighty bad. It all depends on your frame of reference. Two individuals share what appear to be very different perspectives. First… “I’m looking and it feels mighty good. I have a job I’ve never liked that’s paid the bills, put the kids though school, and taught me lessons in patience, humility, and accountability that I otherwise might not have learned. Now, twenty-five years later, IRead More
You’ll fast track your job search when you increase your focus, improve your efficiency, and target your marketing. If you’re sending out resumes and not getting responses you have either lost your focus or never had it. Your resume has three roles: scout, matchmaker, and mouthpiece. It probes for possibilities, looks for a match, and speaks on your behalf. If it fails to deliver on any of these roles, it won’t be considered and neitherRead More
Time Capsules. Why would anyone in 2110 be interested in what we did or thought in 2010 if no one seems to care about what we’re thinking or doing right now. “That? We did that.” “Been there, done that.” “Oh no, not that!” Are they likely to be intrigued by the artifacts of our technology? Influenced by the incivility of our interactions? Impressed by the chaotic management of our business processes? We haven’t done aRead More
If you only focus on where you’ve been and what you’ve left behind, you won’t see what lies ahead. All she could talk about was how stuck she was; how she and her business, both successful, had slowed, then ground to a stop. “My customers once had money to throw around and they loved to throw it my way,” she wailed. I had a high end business and my clients didn’t have to worry aboutRead More
A manager says he’d like us to conduct team building programs for his employees. “You know, something where you take them outside and teach them how to work together”. “Why?” we ask. “What do you want to accomplish?”  Hesitation. “I want them to work together better than they do now. They barely talk to each other, and when they do, it sounds more like sniping than conversation. Worse than that, they line up at myRead More
Here’s to you who direct non profit agencies. Your challenge is Herculean. You’re called upon to be all things to all people and to smile beatifically while you’re doing it. You are supposed to lead, manage, empower, empassion, conceptualize, sanitize, systemize, and fund raise on a shoe string budget and a strung thin staff. The boss is your board, the public is your client, and you are your most severe critic. And that’s just partRead More
Good fences make good neighbors. Sometimes. I’ve been living at the same address for over twenty years. The fence moved in before I did. It was sturdy, redwood, interwoven, and taller than I am. I knew my back neighbors only by the top of their hats: baseball in summer and woolen in winter. They couldn’t have known me by much more. One day we met, kind of. The top of my head spoke with theRead More
What outcome do you have in mind? You need to know, because that’s the outcome you’re going to get. By means of illustration, I have a story for you. It’s called, “The Pineapple.” One day Alice (I’ve changed the name to protect the bold) went to her favorite grocery store to buy a pineapple. She took it home and sliced it open. It was one bad piece of fruit. Rotten to the core. She calledRead More
Networking: the expression is abused, misused and under-explained. What is it and why should you care? Networking is the best way to find a job, change jobs, or even change careers. Doing it right takes time, patience, and persistence. Doing it wrong is a waste of effort, energy, and opportunity. Networking means having focused conversations with individuals who can directly or indirectly influence the direction of your career search. Networking means finding people whose characterRead More
Are you in the wrong job? Maybe the wrong career? That’s an alarming thought if you don’t have a clue what the right job might be. What’s the point of leaving if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’d do once you’d get there? The last thing you want is to end up in the same sorry mess you’re in now. There are plenty of reasons people stay in the wrong careers: TheyRead More
Hugh Dooit is a personable, intelligent fellow who by all conventional standards should be enjoying a reasonably successful career. He isn’t. He’s blocked by an outdated expectation that others will guide his career and provide the criterion and access he needs to reach his goals. Hugh, there was a time that your boss, your human resources rep, and if you’re lucky, an internal mentor would work with you, charting your course as you worked yourRead More
  When you’re looking for a job in a market as competitive as this is, everything counts. Your outbound voice mail message should sound professional: When prospective employers call, they don’t want to hear an outbound message sung by your children or barked by your dog. They’re off-put by messages that sound menacing, mysterious, seductive, poetic, funny, or just plain strange. Simply put, employers want to know they’ve contacted the right person and that personRead More
It’s easy to get stuck between lonely and cranky when you lose your job, particularly when your neighbors and friends still have a job to go to. You know you have to get on with life and start interviewing, but you’re having a tough time getting off the couch and putting on your shoes. If that’s your situation and you have the energy to read this column, I have some ways to remedy your situation. BeginRead More